Remember Rod McKuen

I was reminded that tomorrow is the day they expect that the Nobel Prize for Literature will be revealed. Sometimes I have a keen interest in these prizes; more often I skip the excitement. I don’t think it’s because I disagree with the selection committee (I often do) but more that I find awards ceremonies of questionable value. Hey, I don’t even follow the Academy Awards, the NFL standings, or the Jersey tomato weigh-off.

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GreedI started reading Elfriede Jelinek’s novel, Greed, and almost immediately was confused. The indirect narration by shifting narrators is hard to follow and in this novel there is very little direct exposition: everything is cloaked by the opinions of the narrator and even (fiction wise) by occasional authorial interjection. Two things helped me out: first I related the novel to novels by Robert Pinget whom I had already struggled with and conquered to some extent (also authors such as Joseph McElroy and Samuel Beckett); second, I read the publisher’s blurb on the novel and it gave me just enough of an insight into the narrative so as to keep me reading in the right spirit.

Here is that little summary:

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Followup on Nobel Prize


Announced today, the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature is Alice Munro. Not my choice but still a reasonable one (no, Bob Dylan wasn’t my choice). Did you expect a different result?

I made a comment in my earlier post suggesting that the Nobel Prize seemed to pass over too many great names in literature, enough so that one might question the importance of the prize. Several others have expressed similar views. However, if you stop and consider the complexity of the task, it might be better to continue honoring the esteem of the Nobel selections for literature. Why?

This is what ran through my head when considering the granting of the prize:

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